Work has begun on an access road which will allow construction of a 750,000 cubic meter water storage reservoir near Kaikohe to commence. The first sod was turned by Regional Development minister Shane Jones at a ceremony to mark the event today.
The reservoir, called Matawii, is the first in a series planned for the Mid North region by Te Tai Tokerau Water Trust. Funding agreements had been signed by the Trust and MBIE and agreements to purchase the land for the reservoir and build the access road were completed
The Trust also hopes to construct as many as three reservoirs in Kaipara.
Trust chair Murray McCully said that combined, the schemes would allow for up to 7000ha of new horticultural development within Northland, as well as be available to bolster existing municipal supply.
“We are all acutely aware of the problems faced in the North through water scarcity. Construction of the Matawii reservoir is the first step in a larger water storage scheme that represents a once in a lifetime transformational opportunity for Tai Tokerau,” Murray McCully said.
Construction of the reservoir, which is expected to provide up to 70 jobs, would start in late December once the access road to the site was built. Murray McCully said it was hoped the Matawii reservoir would be operational towards the end of 2021.
The scheme is designed to collect water from natural sources in times of high flows through a mix of pumping systems and gravity. The water would then be stored in the newly created reservoirs and distributed through a network of pipes in times of need.
Economic analysis had indicated provision of the water storage schemes could generate an increase in economic activity of $67m per annum in the Mid North and $83m in the Kaipara and could create up to 880 new jobs across both regions.
The Trust had received funding assistance from the Provincial Growth Fund to develop the water storage schemes, one of the largest infrastructure projects undertaken in the province for decades.
About Te Tai Tokerau Water Trust
The Trust is charged with delivering on the transformational promise of the water storage and use scheme in Northland. Its objective is to create the infrastructure needed to promote sustainable land-use change which will in turn lift the prosperity of local communities, particularly for owners of Māori freehold land. Development of the scheme is expected to lift employment by 12% in the Mid-North and 5% in the Kaipara per annum.
For more information contact Greg Hay - 021545054